Cancer is a group of conditions where the body's cells begin to grow and reproduce in an uncontrollable way. These cells can then invade and destroy healthy tissue, including organs.

Cancer sometimes begins in one part of the body before spreading to other parts. This process is known as metastasis.

How common is cancer?

Cancer is a common condition. Around 29,000 new cases of cancer are diagnosed each year in Ireland. More than one in three people will develop some form of cancer during their lifetime.

The most common cancers in Ireland are:

Useful Links

Irish Cancer Society

We aim to improve the lives of those affected by cancer. We do this by providing up to date information and a range of services, and by influencing change and raising awareness of cancer issues.


BreastCheck is a Government-funded programme providing breast screening and invites women aged 50 to 64 for a free mammogram on an area-by-area basis every two years. The aim of BreastCheck is to reduce deaths from breast cancer by finding and treating the disease at an early stage.

Cancer Screening

The National Cancer Screening Service will develop and provide quality cancer screening programmes for people in Ireland.

These links all come from trusted resources but if you are unsure about these or any other medical matters please contact your doctor or pharmacist for advice.